MMORPG.com: At the current time, there are three corporations, basically factions, within Entropy. Are there any plans to add more? For instance, as cartels grow and perhaps group together to form “mega-cartels”, is there a chance they might give the NPC corporations a run for their money?
Andy Butcher: We don't currently plan to add more megacorps, as we feel three is the ideal number for large scale faction conflict. However, we definitely intend to expand expand the Cartel system to allow them to build various installations up to and including complete space stations, claim and try to maintain control of areas of space, form alliances and declare war on each other.
As the megacorps have the developed and frontier star systems firmly in their grasp, these forms of Cartel gameplay will focus on the wilderness systems that have yet to be recolonised by the new Confederation. As such, player Cartels will be at the forefront of the efforts to reclaim former Confederation territory that was lost during the Shutdown.
Cartels will be able to choose whether to focus on the larger scale faction conflict, the more 'medium scale' conflicts between Cartels, or to split their attention between both, according to the tastes and preferences of their members.
We can certainly imagine a point at which Cartel alliances could grow to the size where they'd start to rival the established megacorps, which could open up a lot of very interesting and exciting opportunities. Definitely something we'll be bearing in mind for the future.
MMORPG.com: At this juncture, players can create a pilot but never really see it. Are there plans to add the ability to walk around one’s ship or within a corporation station or even on a cartel ship?
Andy Butcher: We wouldn't want to rule 'walking around' out completely, but it's not something we have any plans for at the moment. Entropy is a game about space travel and spaceships, and that's where we'll be focusing our attention for the foreseeable future.
However, multiple players being able to be on the same ship, performing different roles, is something that we are interested in looking into in the future.
MMORPG.com: How many ships will a player be able to own?
Andy Butcher: There's currently no limit on how many ships a single character can own. However, each ship needs a hangar to store it when it's not in use, and the cost to purchase each new hangar increases exponentially, so owning a massive fleet of ships will prove to be very expensive.
MMORPG.com: What types of ships are currently available in game and what’s yet to come?
Andy Butcher: There are three basic 'types' of ship in Entropy. Merchant ships focus on economic gameplay and have limited combat potential. Patrol ships are focussed on combat and escort duties and have limited economic potential. Explorers generally offer a balance between combat and economic gameplay, and also tend to be the best suited to mining, salvaging and combat support roles. Within each of these broad types there are several ships of various sizes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
In the future we'll be adding new ships and variants of existing ships, and we're also very interested in adding larger 'size classes' of ship, although there's a lot of details we'll need to work out, and we aren't yet sure whether these larger ships will fit into the same structure of Merchants, Patrols and Explorers, or be based on a different classification system.
MMORPG.com: Will players ever have the ability to add crew members to their ship’s roster?
Andy Butcher: It's definitely an idea that we're interested in and have discussed several times. We haven't made any definite decisions yet, but we like the basic concept and want to spend more time investigating it in the future.
MMORPG.com: What are the fewest and most number of customizable slots on ships in Entropy?
Andy Butcher: With the balance of the game at such an early stage, this is highly subject to change. Right now ships vary from 9 to 15 slots in total, and also in how many slots of each type they have and the maximum mass of modules that be installed.
MMORPG.com: You touched on crafting. What sorts of things will players be able to craft?
Andy Butcher: The initial focus of the crafting system will be allowing players to produce - and customise - all the physical items that players can use, from simple railgun ammunition up to entire starships.
We may well expand this in future to include other items and potentially even things like 'software' and 'data' items.
MMORPG.com: Characters can gain levels and skill points. Skill points are then applied to performable actions. What does this mean? Can skills be applied in non-combat areas as well?
Andy Butcher: Skill points can be used to train any of the available skills, some of which are combat-focussed, some of which give bonuses to non-combat activities like mining or salvaging, and some of which are more general purpose, like increasing your ship's speed or allowing you to squeeze in more cargo or modules.
We plan to keep expanding the number of skills available as we continue to develop the game - for example, when the crafting system is introduced, there'll be several new skills related to different aspects of crafting.
MMORPG.com: Ships also gain the ability to be upgraded. Can players increase the number of slots their ships have?
Andy Butcher: Not at present, but it's something that may become possible in the crafting system, although we're still working on the details, so that's subject to change.
MMORPG.com: The economy is the underpinning to the entire conflict of Entropy. Will players be able to sell via an auction house type system or will they be able to set up their own “shops” to sell goods to one another? Will cartels be able to set up a shop?
Andy Butcher: Each station in the game has its own market, which functions on an order-based system. Players can create buy orders for things they want and sell orders for things they have. There's a maximum number of orders a single character can have 'active' at any one time across all the markets in the game, which can be increased by training the appropriate skill.
Personal 'stores' for crafters are something that may come in the future - as with everything else, to some extent this will depend on whether our players request them.
Interested in learning more about Entropy or in trying out a winner-takes-all gladiatorial combat sport called ‘NOVA’? Check out Entropy's Steam page and take advantage of special pricing as part of the Steam Summer Sale!